Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (1-2, 4.73).
Pitching: RHP Matt Palmer (1-0, 6.00).
TIME/TV: First pitch at 1:05. The game is on YES.
ON A ROLL: The Yankees have won four straight, their longest streak of the season. They have not won five straight since last Sept. 17-24 when they won seven straight.
HOME COOKING: The Yanks are 6-2 at home and have won five straight.
STREAKING ON: Robinson Cano has an 18-game hitting streak, matching his career high. He has hit safely in 23 of the 24 games this season.
SLUMPING: Mark Teixeira is 2 of 24 and his batting average has dropped to .189. But he has drawn 10 walks in the last seven games. His leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth helped get last night’s game-winning rally starter.
MINOR MATTERS: Casey Fossum, who was signed yesterday, will start today for Scranton. The team is short on starters with Ian Kennedy (right hand) out for another few days and Jason Johnson (shoulder) on the DL. They were beaten 14-7 last night by Norfolk despite Shelley Duncan going 2 for 4 with two doubles and one RBI. Shelley is hitting .378/.446/.768 with nine homers and 28 RBI. … Trenton lost 9-7 at home against New Britain. Big Jorge Vazquez, the Mexican League veteran, has two homers and eight RBI in eight games. One of my friends, Joe D’Ambrosio, calls New Britain games and said Vasquez “hit an absolute bomb of a home run to center field” last night. He then fouled a ball off his foot in the fifth inning and left the game. The always rehabbing Alan Horne pitches today for the Thunder. … Jesus Montero homered again for Tampa. He has five on the season and is hitting .333. Dellin Betances (5 5 3 3 4 5) had a rough night.
Back later with much more.
UPDATE 12:03 p.m.: Talked to Brian Cashman about a few subects:
The bullpen: “It’s inconsistent. We know what they’re capable of and we’ve seen what they’ve done on the past. Having Bruney down makes it worse. Either it’ll right itself or I’ll have to right it for us. We got out of sort early on because of the Wang starts. But lately we’ve had some quality starts. It’s something we have to watch, no doubt about it. But at this time of the year, even if you want to do something, it’s not easy. We’ll ride it out for now and hope it corrects itself.
On the team being 13-10 despite its issues: “The pythagorean theorem would throw us out the door right now. We’re thankful that between the injuries and the inconsistencies that no one has run away from us.”
On Wang: “I was on the phone with Mark Lindsay (the rehab specialist) last night. He’s doing such hard-core physical therapy work from the ankles up to the hips so his pitch count will be kept low so we don’t interfere with that. He’ll throw 50 in extended spring today and see where we go from that.”
Cashman said Wang would now pitch every five days. “He feels good that he’s made a lot of progress. But it takes time.”
On A-Rod’s timetable: “We’re giving him tomorrow off regardless and then we’ll kind of see how this goes. We do have an idea of when we might be having him here. But it’s too easy to say whether that is a realistic idea.”
Cashman would not reveal that date other than to say it would not be on this homestand.
UPDATE, 12:30 p.m.: They’re playing the great Billy Joel tune Scenes From An Italian Restaurant at the Stadium and the close caption board in right field is keeping up including the “Oh, Oh Oh” parts. Kind of funny to watch the lyrics streaming by.
UPDATE, 1:19 p.m.: CC looked good in the first inning, striking out two guys. … Meanwhiile, people booed Angels starter Matt Palmer when he hit Jeter to start the bottom of the inning. Do you think he really wanted to do that?
Meanwhile, Jeter stole second and the throw from Mike Napoli hit him in the helmet then deflected into the face of Erick Aybar. He is leaving the game.
UPDATE, 1:26 p.m.: That’s a 12-game hitting streak and now 11 RBI for Hideki Matsui. He has looked pretty healthy for about two weeks now.
UPDATE, 1:42 p.m.: The Yankees have had a “seat upgrade” announcement twice already. Given all the empty seats, they might as well keep going.
UPDATE, 1:44 p.m.: Here’s the latest from Tampa:
The extended spring training team played the Pirates. A-Rod was 0 for 6 with two strikeouts and played five innings at 3B. Chien-Ming Wang threw four hitless innings. He walked two and struck out three. 52 pitches / 33 strikes.
A-Rod is 2 for 18 in three extended spring training games.
UPDATE, 2:12 p.m.: Ramiro Pena is sure fun to watch in the field. What’s amazing is that he was a Double-A shortstop with limited experience at third base. He has been working his tail off with Mick Kelliher and it’s paying off.
The Yankees should keep him around when A-Rod comes back for a lot of reasons: He can play 3B when A-Rod needs a day off. He can run. He can play SS and 2B and he’s got a decent bat. Interesting young player.
Meanwhile, the Yankees have let Matt Palmer settle in. I figured for sure they would knock him around.
UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: Props to Matt Palmer. He has allowed one hit through five innings and has retired 14 straight. Why do the Yankees always struggle against these sorts of pitchers?
UPDATE, 2:51 p.m.: Jeter’s throwing error leads to an unearned run. This will surely lead to the inevitable “Jeter is no good” comments. Probably a story or two in the media as well. Never mind that the defensive metrics show that he has been one of the best shortstops in the game this season.
1-1, brand new game. Yankees need to generate something against Palmer.
UPDATE, 2:56 p.m.: Plus, you know, Jeter gets a lot of hits like that double to dead center he just crushed.
UPDATE, 2:59 p.m.: Tex pops up to center with a runner on third and one out. The crowd booed him. He is now in a 2-for-26 slump.
If Swisher were healthy, giving him a day off wouldn’t be a bad idea.
UPDATE, 3:04 p.m.: Bad, bad baseball there as Jeter doubles to lead off the inning and doesn’t score. … Meanwhile, pretty funny that the close caption board has the lyrics to YMCA as the grounds crew goes through their routine. Do you think the Yankee suits have any idea what that song is about? I’m sure they don’t.
UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: Angels have first and second and nobody out. Bet they figure out a way to score. Mike Scoscia’s teams handle these situations well.
UPDATE, 3:14 p.m.: Bunt and an infield field. 2-1 Angels. This team may be struggling but they’re fundamentally solid.
Meanwhile, my pal Anthony McCarron is doing some blogging for the News over on Blogging The Bombers. Check that out if you get a chance.
UPDATE, 3:18 p.m.: CC Sabathia was furious as he left the mound, shouting something into his glove. He then fired his glove and cap into the bench and stalked off to the clubhouse.
He has not won a game since April 11 and he won’t win today. The Yankees will be 2-4 in his starts if they lose today. Unacceptable.
UPDATE, 3:36 p.m.: If Jeter hits a ball in the gap here, Gardner will be running up Molina’s back.
UPDATE, 3:38 p.m.: Jose Veras? What does Dave Robertson need to do to get into a game? This game could get ugly fast.
UPDATE, 3:41 p.m.: The Angels must be running to the bat rack as Morales hits a rifle shot over the wall in right center off Veras.
Veras is just brutal. 6-1 Angels.
UPDATE, 3:49 p.m.: A home run and two walks by Veras so far in this inning. I realize he had success at times last season. But these middle relief types run hot and cold. When the time is up, it’s up. He’s of very little use on this roster now.
UPDATE, 3:57 p.m.: Hey, Dave Robertson. Surprised he could find his glove.
Bet he strikes two guys out.
UPDATE, 4:07: See, he did strike two guys out. But Robertson also walked two and allowed a single. What a mess.
The good news is the Yankees have allowed only six earned runs. That’ll increase their ERA from only 5.9321 to 5.9349. Progress!
UPDATE, 4:13 p.m.: The hit streak ends at 18 for Cano.
Back later with reaction from the clubhouse.
UPDATE, 4:27 p.m.: Boy, this is some kind of bad game. Up 8-1, the Angels walk two in the ninth and commit a hideous error to allow the Yankees to score three runs.